Sautéed Cabbage with Turmeric

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Cabbage has been one of my go to veggies this year.  I just love how versatile it is.  I was at a free Farmer’s Market where I heard and saw a lot of people pass over the cabbage because they didn’t know what to do with it.  Coleslaw, soups, sauerkraut, cabbage rolls, bierocks, egg rolls, salads, and more!

I have been wanting to add more turmeric in my diet for its anti-inflammatory properties and was excited when I saw a recipe in February’s Food & Wine for Sautéed Cabbage with Cumin Seeds and Turmeric.  The recipe is great as is and super simple.  Sauté 3 lbs of finely shredded cabbage in 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil with 1 1/2 teaspoons each of cumin seeds,turmeric and kosher salt until cabbage is soft (about 15-20 minutes).

Always thinking how to make it my own – why not add some ginger root.  It is also an anti-inflammatory and I like the brightness it can bring to a dish.

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A great side dish or serve with some rice for a meatless Monday dish.  Can’t give up the meat?  Sauté some chicken to add in or a lean ground meat.  This basic dish can be the basis for your own creativity.  Next time I am going to add large pieces of carrots to add some texture.

 

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

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Probably not on the diet list, but if you are looking for a scrumptious, hearty dish here it is!  My husband said it was AWESOMEY GOODNESS.

I wish I could take the credit for this dish but it is from The Pioneer Woman.  The only thing I added was a sprinkling of smoked paprika over each layer.  Almost all the ingredients came from my stash in the deep freeze.  We all love cooking fresh, but when you have kids, activities and more sometimes you have to be prepared.  To accomplish this we cut up left over ham from the holidays and freeze.  What else in our “freezer stock”… that we can use for this dish…diced onions, butter and cheeses.  I try to buy butter and cheese when on sale and freeze so I never run out.

I know you are excited to make this for dinner tonight and rather than copy her recipe I am including the link right HERE.

I hope you try this one as it is easy and so delicious.

 

BBQ Spaghetti

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The first time I heard of BBQ spaghetti was while living in Omaha.  I admit…even though it seemed to always be an option at potlucks I just was not interested in trying it.  Maybe it was because I love spaghetti so much and it seemed like such an off combination.  I am such an adventurous eater you would think I would have at least tried it.

Well, if you know me you know you already know I keep a lot of freshly prepared ingredients in the freezer to make meal time easier.  Today I took out some shredded pork we had previously made.  I really didn’t want to do a soup or enchiladas so I decided to peruse pinterest.  Up came BBQ spaghetti by Spicy Southern Kitchen and I had all the ingredients!

This is a an easy recipe that you can easily adapt to your own.  As I already mentioned, I used shredded pork I previously made.  If you don’t have any on hand you will use you favorite recipe for shredded pork.  The crockpot is my favorite to make shredded pork.  The recipe also calls for your favorite BBQ sauce, whether you make it homemade or choose your favorite store brand -the sauce will change the flavor profile.  Lastly, you could add bell peppers or any other ingredient you like however this is a nice basic recipe.

If you are looking for something different for dinner- here you go. Thank you Spicy Southern Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound BBQ pulled pork
  • 2/3 C  your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 (8 0unce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, garnish

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease 9 X 13 baking dish
  2. Preheat oven 350 degrees
  3. In large bowl combine BBQ sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and sour cream- mix well
  4. Add spaghetti, pork, green onions and toss to combine
  5. Pour into baking dish, top with cheese, cover with foil.
  6. Bake 20-30 minutes
  7. Top with cilantro and top with additional BBQ sauce (optional)

 

Smoked Paprika and Brown Sugar Corn on the Cob

If I am hosting a dinner party or making a large meal I want to prep some dishes ahead of time.  Corn on the Cob is one of those you can prep ahead of time with foil and your seasoned butter. This rub gives you a sweet, smoky flavor that is addicting.  DSC_0617.JPG

In a bowl combine the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

DSC_0616.JPGRub butter mixture on your shucked corn and wrap each piece in foil.  Place in 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes turning once.  Alternatively, you can place foil wrapped corn on the grill- turning until tender (med- high heat about 10 minutes)

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Sweet Potato Salmon Patties

What to do with leftover salmon.  Ok Ok WHY do I have leftover salmon?  I know some of you are asking how can you have leftover salmon.     Well, during my Alaska trip this year we had the “pleasure” of butchering this one huge, monster salmon.  Let me tell you….I should taken video or pictures.  There were four of us and we took turns trying to cut these salmon steaks. This one particular salmon was a beast with a vertebrae that was making us sweat.  Needless to say, the steaks were quite large.

I had taken out two of the steaks from the freezer for dinner.  Dinner for the 3 of us includes myself, my husband and an 8 year old. One steak was not quite enough but two would leave a small amount of leftover. Unfortunately, hubby had to go out of town, but I had to cook these 2 monster steaks.  The little one and I did our best but still had quite a bit left.  You can’t waste Alaskan salmon so I had to come up with a plan for the rest.

I do make salmon patties quite often but wanted to do a little something different.  I had two sweet potatoes in the pantry and about a cup of cooked rice-quinoa mix from the salmon dinner.  You can certainly make this recipe with fresh salmon or canned salmon and leave out the rice or vegetables.  Whatever your taste prefers.  The sweet potato gives the patty a creamy texture without overpowering the salmon.

Ingredients:

  • Flaked salmon (I ended up with a little more than 2 cups)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (cubed, cooked, mashed)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons SpinBlend (mayo/salad dressing) or stone ground mustard
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs/panko…you can add a little more if texture it too wet
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • As I mentioned I had about 1 cup of leftover rice-quinoa so I added it as well.

**You may be asking where is the seasoning?? Since, the salmon was already cooked and seasoned well I didn’t need to add more.  If you are using fresh or canned salmon you will need to add some seasoning- at a minimum salt and pepper.

Mix all together, form patties and cook in a heated pan with a little oil or on your griddle.

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Note:  My son doesn’t care for sweet potato too much so I separated out some of the mix before adding sweet potato so he would have one burger sans sweet potato.

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Great Beginnings

Every region has their own version how to start off a great dish.  The simple combinations are usually staples in any kitchen waiting to add a boost of flavor to your dish.

While I totally agree fresh is best, sometimes we are busy or have an over abundance of vegetables.  You can pre-dice your vegetables and place in the freezer to enjoy you garden treasures through the winter or to have ready at a moments notice.  Just the other day, I was deciding what to cook and while looking through the freezers found some pre-diced vegetables just waiting to be used.

mirepoix

The first cooking staple is French inspired- “Mirepoix“.  Mirepoix is a simple base of onions, carrots and celery, typically in a 2-1-1 (cups) ratio.  This mix is used in a number of dishes from soups and stew to sauces and roasts.

Down South where Cajun/ Creole cooking in popular you will hear about the “Holy Trinity“.  Similar to Mirepoix except green peppers are substituted for the carrots. Holy Trinity is the base to most Creole dishes.  The ratio is similar to that of Mirepoix or approximately 2 onions-2 stalks of  celery and 1 bell pepper.

Italian dishes will typically use a Mirepoix base but with the addition of fennel, garlic, Italian parsley, pancetta or prosciutto.  As one can imagine each family holds their “secret” recipe close to their heart.  Just try to get that family recipe out of Nonna!!

Lastly, onto Spain and “Sofrito“.  Spanish dishes frequently have the base called sofrito, which is onions, garlic and tomato.  As with any of the foundations people have made their own version but if you know these basics you are well on your way to a flavorful savory dish.

As you can see a lot of these foundations start with humble beginnings- the onion. I usually place the diced vegetables in snack size ziplock baggies by the cup full and then place several of those snack size baggies into a gallon freezer bag.  Obviously, date your bags.  You can do the vegetables individual or have some pre-mixed.  This is also a great idea if you frequent a warehouse club such as Costco, Sam’s Club or BJs and like to buy in bulk.  I hate to waste food so this is just one way we try to save $ and be prepared when we can’t get to the store.